Director's Message

Director's Message

The struggle of joint and back pain for letter carriers

Today I want to talk about the true and real struggle for many letter carriers—back and joint pain. If you are reading this article or listening to the podcast, I am sure that most of you can pinpoint that discomfort, the ache or pain I’m referring to. Unfortunately, it is a reality far too common in our ranks. A tremendous daily amount of strain is placed on our back, shoulders, knees and muscles in general, just from doing our jobs—from the repetitive movements while casing mail, the physical aspect of loading or moving heavy packages, the carrying of a heavy satchel, to the walking of countless miles.

Knowing this, my goal is not to leave you with a discouraging feeling, but rather to bring awareness about a comprehensive solution offered by the NALC Health Benefit Plan. Since 2022, we have offered a musculoskeletal (MSK) program through Hinge Health. The Hinge program has reported amazing results for our membership, and I want to encourage more of you to take advantage of this benefit.

Hinge is a digital physical therapy option that offers our members the flexibility they need when time is limited. Wait, did I mention the cost? This program is absolutely free to our members.

Whether the issue involves a recent injury, the overcoming of pain or preparation for surgery, the program is designed for each individual patient who signs up. And, depending on the treatment needed, this program offers access to physicians, physical therapists and health coaches. Based on the intake form that needs to be completed at registration, members will be placed in one of the following:

If you would like to enroll or just speak to someone about the details, you can call 855-902-2777 or visit

The NALC Health Benefit Plan continues to grow, and it works hard to be the best health plan option for all letter carriers. Although the 2024 Open Season numbers will not be finalized until later this month, here are some 2023 year-end statics I’d like to share. 

In 2023, our Customer Service Department answered more than 864,000 calls. The plan also mailed 5.5 million-plus pieces of mail or packages and spent more than $3.4 million in postage.

In closing, I would like to take a moment to recognize Cleveland, OH Branch 40 for helping the Plan accomplish health initiatives in the Cleveland area. A special thank-you goes to President Erick Poston, Health Benefit Representative Patrice Ashley and all other branch officers whose assistance was paramount to our success. Your hard work did not go unnoticed, and we truly appreciate the effort that everyone contributed.

The Plan is excited to educate and encourage individuals to take time for their health, and we plan to continue expanding health initiatives to many other areas. Stay tuned as we work together building a healthier future.


Note: The information located in this article is only a summary of some of the NALC Health Benefit Plan benefits.  Detailed information can be found in the NALC Health Benefit Plan's official brochure (RI 71-009).  All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations, and exclusions set forth in the official brochure.